Credit: Matthew Ho | Mustang News, 2022

Cal Poly Men’s Soccer announced the hiring of Oige Kennedy as the program’s new head coach at a press conference Friday morning.

Kennedy has spent his last seven seasons at Stanford, serving as an assistant coach from 2016-17 and as the associate head coach from 2018-22.

Former Mustang head coach Steve Sampson retired during the 2022 season, citing his health as the reason for his retirement.

“It’s truly an honor to become the leader of this program and represent this unique university,” Kennedy said in a Cal Poly Athletics press release. “It’s something that we’re truly excited to be a part of.”

At Stanford, Kennedy was a part of the coaching staff of two national championship teams while helping produce 20 Major League Soccer SuperDraft selections.

Before his time with the Cardinal, Kennedy served as the head coach at Fort Lewis College, a Division II school in Colorado. While he led the program, the team won two NCAA Tournament Championships in 2009 and 2011. The 2009 title run came in his first year as the head coach.

In his seven years as a head coach, he has put up a 102-37-9 overall record and won the NSCAA Division II National Coach of the Year award in 2012.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a lot of trophies and have a lot of success, but it’s about the relationships that you build with people,” Kennedy said. 

Cal Poly Athletics Director Don Oberhelman cited both Kennedy’s championship pedigree and his coaching style as reasons for why he is “pleased that coach Kennedy is joining our family” in a press release. 

“[Kennedy’s] won national titles as an assistant coach, he’s won national titles as a head coach and he’s ready to lead our program to Big West championships and national success,” Oberhelman said. 

“When talking with other coaches around the country about [Kennedy], they talk about his skill as a coach, his relentless recruiting and his integrity and humanity as a person.”

The Mustangs had a rough 2022 season, finishing with an overall record of 2-11-4 and a conference mark of 2-3-4. However, Kennedy is optimistic about the program going forward.

“I think the students at Cal Poly are super hard working, super disciplined and super committed,” Kennedy said. “I got the sense from meeting with the guys earlier that they’re craving and want [to win] and so we’re excited to get started and get pushing on that. I think we are ready to hit the ground running.”